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Generational Dynamics Web Log for 9-Feb-2017
9-Feb-17 World View -- Mainstream media frets over Steve Bannon, the Fourth Turning, and Donald Trump

Web Log - February, 2017

9-Feb-17 World View -- Mainstream media frets over Steve Bannon, the Fourth Turning, and Donald Trump

China-Philippines détente unravels over Scarborough Shoal

by John J. Xenakis

This morning's key headlines from

China-Philippines détente unravels over Scarborough Shoal

China's now-famous 'nine-dash line' illegally claims sovereignty over the entire South China Sea, including territories belonging to other nations (Reuters)
China's now-famous 'nine-dash line' illegally claims sovereignty over the entire South China Sea, including territories belonging to other nations (Reuters)

When Philippines president Rodrigo Duterte announced last October that he was throwing the US military out of the Philippines and would be turning to China instead, I wrote that this flip-flop could not last for long, because the Philippine people had an overwhelmingly favorable view of the U.S., and a far less favorable view of China. It's a core principle of Generational Dynamics that, even in a dictatorship, major decisions are made by masses of people, by generations of people. The attitudes of politicians are irrelevant, except insofar as they represent the attitudes of the people.

Last October, Philippine Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana said that the country would not allow the US military to use its base in the Philippines even for its freedom of navigation patrols in the South China Sea. Since then, Duterte has already been forced to backtrack on his threat to throw the US military out.

Now Duterte's own ministers are expressing alarm that China may be building a new military base on Scarborough Shoal, which has been a fishing ground for Philippine fishermen for centuries.

Now the very same Philippine Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana is now saying that China should not be permitted to build military facilities on Scarborough Shoal because, in combination with China's other illegal military bases, this would give China complete military control of the entire South China Sea:

"They encroached. They occupied three islands [in the Spratlys] plus they are trying to get Scarborough. So to us that is unacceptable.

If we allow them, they will build. That’s very, very disturbing. Very much [more] disturbing than Fiery Cross because this is so close to us. ...

"The Americans, that’s their red line. Red line meaning you can’t do that there, so they [China] did not do it.

If we had a strong military presence [in the South China Sea], we can stop them [China] but we don’t. I am still hoping in the future some reasonable guy there in Beijing will come to see the light that this is ours. That is shooting for the moon but who knows?"

The "red line" refers to a warning that President Barack Obama gave to China's President Xi Jinping last year against building an artificial island at Scarborough Shoal. A Chinese military base on Scarborough Shoal would put Chinese fighter jets and missiles within easy striking distance of US forces that are stationed in the Philippines, as well as the Philippines' own forces. The shoal also commands the northeast exit of the sea, so a Chinese military outpost there could stop other countries' navies from traveling through the South China Sea.

Early last month, during his confirmation hearing for Secretary of State, Rex Tillerson said that China's artificial islands and military bases in the South China Sea were an "illegal" activity and added:

"We're going to have to send China a clear signal that first, the island-building stops and second, your access to those islands also is not going to be allowed."

Chinese media have responded that the US cannot implement this threat without waging a large-scale war. On Wednesday, China's foreign ministry promised Peace In Our Time: "We are absolutely not interested in conflicts with other countries and call for maintaining peace and stability in the South China Sea as this is in the interests of all states." International Business Times and AFP and Tass (Moscow)

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Mainstream media frets over Steve Bannon, the Fourth Turning, and Donald Trump

Needless to say, I'm fascinated by the sudden interest by the mainstream media in Steve Bannon and The Fourth Turning. An article last week about Steve Bannon in Time mentioned the Fourth Turning.

A more important article came out this week in the form of an analytical article by Linette Lopez in Business Insider. Unfortunately, she has no idea what she's talking about, and knows absolutely nothing about generational theory, although she thinks she does.

Her thesis is that Steve Bannon wants to use this theory to bring about a world war. That's crazy. What generational theory does is predict that a world war is coming, whether we like it or not, and tells us to prepare for it.

The Fourth Turning was the foundational work for generational theory. It was a brilliant work when it was written by Neil Howe and William Strauss in the early 1990s, but they applied it only to English and American history since the 1400s, and today their work is badly out of date.

In 2003 I took over further development of generational theory, corrected a number of the early errors, and expanded it to all countries and places at all times in history. I launched the website, which has been a platform of continuing development of generational theory. There are now almost 4,000 articles on the website containing hundreds of analyses and predictions, all of which have come true or are trending true. None has been proven wrong. No web site, analyst, journalist, or politician has come even close to the analytical and forecasting success of It's a truly historic development.

It's true that generational theory predicts a new world war. But it makes no difference whether Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton had won the presidential election, because no politician can either cause or prevent a world war.

However, to use an analogy, if your boat is sailing through a storm, then the boat captain can neither cause nor prevent a storm, but if a storm is coming, then one captain may do a better job than another in guiding the boat through the storm. The crazy thing would be for the boat captain to know that a storm is coming, but ignore it completely, and make no preparations whatsoever.

My personal belief is that America will be best guided through the coming storm by a president who has the benefit of an understanding of Generational Dynamics, because that's the only methodology that describes what's actually going on in the world.

So the reason that Linette Lopez is completely wrong is that she has no understanding whatsoever of generational theory. She has no clue. Lopez would tell a boat captain not to prepare for a storm, even if the weather forecast says that a storm is coming. She thinks we should just all be Pollyannas and pretend that nothing bad will ever happen. Linette Lopez is recommending the path to total disaster.

Ironically, Neil Howe himself has almost completely abandoned his own Fourth Turning theory by supporting views similar to those of Linette Lopez. This is explained by the fact that Howe supports Democrats, and so is committed to opposing anything from Donald Trump, even when it's his own Fourth Turning theory. This is just one more of the bizarre twists that are common in today's world.

Generational Dynamics says that a world war is coming, and that no politician can either cause or prevent it. But what politicians can do is prepare for it, and that's what we can hope that Steve Bannon and Donald Trump are doing, to the benefit of all of us. Business Insider and Time

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(Comments: For reader comments, questions and discussion, see the 9-Feb-17 World View -- Mainstream media frets over Steve Bannon, the Fourth Turning, and Donald Trump thread of the Generational Dynamics forum. Comments may be posted anonymously.) (9-Feb-2017) Permanent Link
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